First of all, I love vampires. I love when vampires are on the side of good instead of evil. And I especially love when they are alive, which is harder to find then you think. I don’t mean “undead”. I mean “alive”, as in they are born, not created — they die a natural death after so long and they aren’t living a tired, endless existence after thousands of years. Also where they can fall in love and make babies — not create other vampires. (By the way, the same goes for my feelings on werewolves/shifters.)
One of these reasons is, in my opinion, it is more believable that humans (or Homo sapiens) are not the only existing species in the genus Homo. (After all there were the Homo habilis, Homo neanderthalensis, and Homo erectus which are now extinct.) To me it is more believable there are other species related to humans, than one species can transform another species. After all, a lion cannot turn a tiger, jaguar, or leopard into a lion.
Plus, there is something comforting about vampires. People understand their basic traits: they drink blood, they have fangs, they can’t go out in the sunlight, they are stronger then humans, and they live longer (or are immortal). Authors play around with these traits and put their own spin on them, along with adding or even taking away some of them, to make them their own, but the essentials are there that a readers comes into a book knowing.
I have read many paranormal series where the author makes up their own creatures, or use creatures which have been used or used much, in literature. Some of these books are awesome. In fact, some of them are my favorites. But at the same time, it can be exhausting to try an learn a new world with new creatures and new rules, before you even get to the story. I pick up a book to read and escape (someone one told me it was their “five minute vacation.”), but I don’t pick up a novel to study. I did that plenty in college. Therefore, there is something comforting and reliable in vampire novels that I want as a reader.
It’s been encouraging to read the comments people have put in response to these posts, because it seems to be an abundance of readers who agree they love vampire novels and can never get enough. But, because readers do not control the market, publishers and agents do, we’ve decided to take a break from querying. We’ve received so many positive comments on our novel, yet we continue to receive rejections from agents, and at this point we strongly suspect it is due to the fact that our novel is about vampires.
We don’t know how long we are going to wait to query, but until then we are working on the second book in our series, plus we have sent our query and first three chapters of book one out to editorial services to see what they think. Hopefully their comments will confirm our suspicions that it is not our manuscript, but the subject in which it contains.
As always, we would love to hear your thoughts on the matter. Do you think vampires are over? Do you think they’ve been done too many times? Or are you always on the lookout for the next great vampire story?